“Where were you Saturday the seventh at noon?”
“I don’t know, probably eating lunch at my house.”
“Can anyone verify that?”
“I live alone.”
“Mmm hmm.” The two other officers were staring him down harshly as this third asked questions. Joshua was still off balance from being suddenly taken into custody outside city hall. The urge to read their minds was great and it was hard to hold back given how strongly he could sense their minds and intent of purpose. “I don’t suppose you have any other means of proving your whereabouts then?”
“Unless I have a nosy neighbor I am unaware of, no. Don’t you have to read my rights or something?”
“Don’t watch much news do you? The provisional government abolished most of the limitations on seeking justice. Like you don’t already know about the IPMC Act.”
“Wait, the Invasion of Privacy and Mind Control Act? You think I am using psychic powers against someone?”
“Damned strait you mind-raping psych!” One of the other officers finally shifted forward. “Admit it, you were at the courthouse to try getting into the minds of officials.”
Joshua was having a hard time fighting down their emotional waves. They were projecting much harder than a normal person would. “I just went to check on some zoning issues.”
“We know your cover story. At least it is better than your crappy excuse for the seventh. Do you know how many good men got shot by that pawn you were controlling? I’d just execute you right here if I was allowed.”
It was getting worse. Their emotions were flaring ever brighter and Joshua had to struggle to keep them out of his head.
“Look at him, he’s concentrating. He’s trying to get into our minds!”
“Shit! His nose is bleeding.” All three began to draw.
“Please, calm down. It’s too much. I’m not doing anything to anyone, I swear.” Joshua’s vision was blurring with the throbbing pain of trying to keep his mind separate from the other three.
“More lies. Waste the psych before he kills us all.”
It was too much. He’d done so well all these years at blocking others out. He’d avoided crowds and walked away from emotional people, but he had nowhere to go now. In that moment, he became guilty of a sin they accused him of already committing. All of his walls came down. Everything they were was part of him in that moment. They were extensions of himself by reflex and as the guns came up, he turned each as easily as he might blink an eye. Explosive sound echoed throughout the small room as each collapsed from the shot of another.
If he’d been able to focus, they’d have shoot the wall, but reflexes were to end the pounding ache of extreme emotions. Head lowering, he could feel other minds behind the mirror. Joshua steeled himself again and waited for them to open fire. Only one sympathetic mind could be felt and to it he projected all that he could. At least one person would know the truth and maybe when the world settled again, that would be enough to move back towards fairness and equality instead of fear.
If he had just been a little more focused and prepared. If he’d only had a bit of foresight instead. Hindsight was a little like telepathy, you didn’t know what was the truth until after the deed was done. If he’d been willing to freely read minds, they’d never have even realized he could. It was a bitter irony.